Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/28/12
FOXBORO, Mass.  — The Patriots secondary has looked much improved over the past few weeks. And while the play of Aqib Talib and Devin McCourty is receiving plenty of attention, Patrick Chung’s star isn’t shining quite as bright as it once did. Chung, who missed four games with a shoulder injury earlier in the season, returned to the field against the Jets on Thursday night and had an immediate impact, even in a more limited role than he’s used to. Either way, he was really glad to get back out onto the football field. “It felt good, man, to get back out there and just dig my cleats into the grass a little bit,” Chung said. “It’s all good, man. We have five more games and hopefully a lot more.” The Patriots’ starting safety over the past two seasons may have enjoyed the rush of being back on the field with his teammates. But returning to a reserve role, playing just 22 of the 72 total defensive snaps and being used more as a coverage defender in sub packages, couldn’t have been too pleasant. Chung’s apparent demotion couldn’t have been anticipated when he went down with the injury in the second half against Seattle. But with Steve Gregory making some big plays and McCourty’s smooth transition over to the position, there seems to be no room for Chung at safety anymore. And Chung was happy to see both guys making plays in the blowout win on Thanksgiving. “It was good to see your teammates have a good game,” Chung added. “And you just gotta get those every game.” While the reduced role may sting, at least for now, that doesn’t mean he’s disgruntled or that he’s going to question Bill Belichick‘s decision making. “Wherever Coach wants me, that’s where I’m going to play at,” Chung said very bluntly. If Thursday’s return was any indication of Chung’s ability coming off the injury, then the Patriots have to be encouraged. He may not be the starter at safety anymore — although that could change quickly — but he’ll still be an important piece in maintaining a high level of play in that secondary. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sam Mitchell reportedly candidate to join Pelicans’ coaching staff

Warriors GM indicates Steve Kerr still isn’t ready to return

Taylor Hall says it was “nice to finally see” the Edmonton Oilers eliminated

Report: Jets to hire female defensive backs coach

Vince Young officially inks contract with CFL team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jason Witten: Bill Parcells is getting soft in his old age

Braves make up with fan ejected by security for interference

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

Magic Johnson indicates Brandon Ingram is Lakers’ only untradeable player

Congress drafted a bill that could legalize online sports betting; how soon might it happen?

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

It’s our civic duty to stop attending Super Bowls in new stadiums

Box Score 5/25: The Cavaliers look to close out the Celtics

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker